China to implement cybersecurity reviews

China will put in force new rules next month to increase its oversight of domestic firms planning to list on overseas stock markets.

The move represents aa further tightening of the Chinese state’s grip on its diverse technology sector.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said the new rules come into effect on 15 February and require platform companies with data on more than 1 million users to undergo a security review before listing their shares overseas.

“With stock market listings there is a risk that key information infrastructure, core data, important data or a large amount of personal information could be impacted, controlled or maliciously used by foreign governments,” said the CAC in a statement, reiterating a concern first flagged in July.

In a separate statement, the CAC said it would also implement new rules on 1 March regarding the use of algorithm recommendation technology to increase oversight of news providers that use the technology to disseminate information.

The rules will also give users the right to switch off the service if they choose.

Both sets of rules were proposed last year and are expected to potentially impact a large swathe of companies.

The CAC did not specify whether the rules will apply to companies seeking listings in Hong Kong.

The CAC changes come after a slew of recent moves by Chinese authorities to boost oversight of Chinese companies’ offshore listings.

China’s state planner said last week it would demand regulatory clearance for overseas Chinese listings in sensitive sectors such as internet news and publishing.

Separately, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said on 24 December that it would require companies wishing to list overseas to submit filings to the agency first for registration, under a system that also involves close coordination among various regulatory bodies.

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